Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Insert your own Irish-related drinking joke here.
Posts Tagged ‘Camille Paglia’
Busy working on other stuff, so consider this an “instead of a real update” update:
And here’s the third part of that Camille Paglia interview. Here she takes on the 2016 Presidential field. As you might expect from someone who voted for the Green Party in 2012 and who profeses herself a fan of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, her critiques of the Democratic side are a lot more interesting than those of the GOP.
There are plenty of women Democratic politicians who are too scared to put themselves forward as candidates because of the Clinton machine. There’s something seriously wrong here with Democratic thinking…Given the problems facing the nation, this passive waiting for your turn is simply unacceptable. The Democrats have plenty of solid, capable women politicians who are just too timid to challenge the party establishment. Well, excuse me, that proves they don’t deserve to be president! You sure won’t be able to deal with ISIS if you can’t deal with Debbie Wasserman Schultz!
More on Hillary:
Hillary has accomplished nothing substantial in her life. She’s been pushed along, coasting on her husband’s coattails, and every job she’s been given fizzled out into time-serving or overt disaster. Hillary constantly strikes attitudes and claims she’s “passionate” about this or that, but there’s never any sustained follow-through. She’s just a classic, corporate exec or bureaucrat type who would prefer to be at her desk behind closed doors, imposing her power schemes on the proletariat. She has no discernible political skills of any kind, which is why she needs a big, shifting army of consultants, advisors, and toadies to whisper in her ear and write her policy statements.
She’s not a fan of Ted Cruz: “Ted Cruz–oh, lord! Cruz gives me the willies. The guy is a fanatic! He’s very smart, clever and strategic, and he has a fine education from Princeton, so people have to watch out for him. But I think he is self-absorbed and narcissistic to a maniacal degree.” Paglia also says that “In the primary debates, Cruz will benefit from having a tall and commanding physique.” Commanding presence, yes, but Cruz is around my height (5’10”-ish), which is not generally considered tall for a Presidential contender.
She’s high on Scott Walker:
I think that liberals are dangerously complacent about Scott Walker. They’ve tried to portray him as a madman, an uneducated rube, a tool of the Koch brothers. Right now, Walker seems to be the true GOP frontrunner, but I also feel he lacks gravitas. He’s not ready for his close-up. What is this oddity about so many of the GOP candidates–their excessive boyishness, as if their maturation stalled? But Walker is a very talented and combative politician, with far more substance than liberals are allowing for.
The union issue is huge–because as governor of Wisconsin, Walker went to war with unions and won. Liberals are caught in the past right now in their rosy view of unions, which were heroically established during the progressive era that reformed the abuses of the industrial revolution. But the union battle in Wisconsin had nothing to do with exploited working-class miners or factory workers. In his push to balance the state budget, Walker took action against the middle-class public sector unions, whose negotiations with municipal and state governments outside the arena of private competition have become an enormous drain on local budgets as the economy has worsened. There has been a history of rampant corruption in the public sector unions, coming from their cozy quid pro quo relationships with politicians. Liberals need to wake up about this! All they have to do is read the obituaries of the smaller newspapers in metropolitan New York to see how the early retirement and lavish pensions of the public sector unions have grotesquely drained taxpayer dollars. Obituary after obituary–so-and-so, aged 75, worked for fifteen or twenty years as a policeman or city sanitation worker, retired in his late 40s, and spent the rest of his life on the taxpayer’s dime, pursuing his hobbies of fishing, boating, and golfing. Great work if you can get it!
And then the teachers’ unions! What a colossal tactical error American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten (a longtime Clinton friend and donor) made several weeks ago in unilaterally declaring her union’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton right in the middle of the Bernie Sanders surge. Probably for the first time ever, American liberals woke up to the corrupt practices that have become way too common in the political maneuverings of the big unions. The point here is that Scott Walker, in his defeat of the public sector unions, drew the roadmap for struggling municipal and state governments everywhere to balance their budgets, as he did in Wisconsin. Because who ends up suffering the most? It’s the kids. All that money outrageously pouring into inflated pension plans has been gutting public education and community arts programs.
Good to see at least one liberal wake up to the destructive nature of bloated public sector unions. But it’s rather naive of Paglia to express surprise over part of the corrupt wing of the Democratic Party (unions) endorsing the designated candidate of that wing (Hillary) over the candidate of the Party’s insane wing (Bernie Sanders).
“I thought that Mitt Romney was an excellent choice by the GOP four years ago.” Can’t really say we in the GOP are happy with the way that turned out…
And here’s the second part of that Camille Paglia interview. Choice quotes:
Things Paglia is a fan of: Drudge, Salon, The Guardian and The Daily Mail. Not a fan: Christopher Hitchens.
Camille Paglia is always good for an orthogonal view on current pieties, and this interview with her (warning: Salon) is no different. She also has a gift for intellectual putdowns that work at a much higher level of reference than Maureen Dowd’s.
Take, for example, her take on Anthony Weiner:
Two words: pathetic dork. How sickeningly debased our politics have become that this jabbering cartoon weasel could be taken seriously for a second as a candidate for mayor of New York.
Hillary Clinton and Benghazi:
It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.
I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying “I take responsibility” for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.
Throughout history, ambassadors have always been symbolic incarnations of the sovereignty of their nations and the dignity of their leaders. It’s even a key motif in “King Lear.” As far as I’m concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, “What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?” Democrats have got to shake off the Clinton albatross and find new blood. The escalating instability not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast is very ominous. There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve — and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win.
Oh, feminism is still alive? Thanks for the tip! It sure is invisible, except for the random whine from some maleducated product of the elite schools who’s found a plush berth in glossy magazines. It’s hard to remember those bad old days when paleofeminist pashas ruled the roost. In the late ‘80s, the media would routinely turn to Gloria Steinem or the head of NOW for “the women’s view” on every issue — when of course it was just the Manhattan/D.C. insider’s take, with a Democratic activist spin. Their shameless partisanship eventually doomed those Stalinist feminists, who were trampled by the pro-sex feminist stampede of the early ‘90s (in which I am proud to have played a vocal role). That insurgency began in San Francisco in the mid-‘80s and went national throughout the following decade. They keep dusting Steinem off and trotting her out to pin awards on her, but she’s the walking dead. Her anointed heirs (like Susan Faludi) sure didn’t pan out, did they?
While it’s a big relief not to have feminist bullies sermonizing from every news show anymore, the leadership vacuum is alarming. It’s very distressing, for example, that the atrocities against women in India — the shocking series of gang rapes, which seem never to end — have not been aggressively condemned in a sustained way by feminist organizations in the U.S. I wanted to hear someone going crazy about it in the media and not letting up, day after day, week after week. The true mission of feminism today is not to carp about the woes of affluent Western career women but to turn the spotlight on life-and-death issues affecting women in the Third World, particularly in rural areas where they have little protection against exploitation and injustice.
And one need not share her fascination with bondage and discipline to enjoy her artful takedown of the Cult of Foucault:
My principal complaint about those three books, all from university presses, was that their intriguing firsthand documentation of the BDSM community was pointlessly shot through with turgid, pretentious theorizing, drawn from the slavishly idolized but hopelessly inaccurate and unreliable Michel Foucault.
In this tight job market, young scholars are in a terrible bind. They have to cater to and flatter the academic establishment if they hope to survive. Furthermore, they have not been taught basic skills in historical investigation, weighing of evidence, and argumentation. There has been a collapse in basic academic standards during the theory era that will take universities decades to recover from. I was incensed that none of those three authors had read a page of the Marquis de Sade, one of the most original and influential writers of the past three centuries. Sade had a major impact on Nietzsche, whom Foucault vainly tried to model himself on. Nor had the three authors read “The Story of O” or explored a host of other crucial landmarks in modern sadomasochism. No, it was Foucault, Foucault, Foucault — a con artist who will one day be a mere footnote in the bulging chronicle of academic follies.
Paglia can still be spectacularly wrong (such as her neo-Freudian take on Weiner later in that section), but she’s always thought-provoking and never dull. Read the whole thing.
(Hat tip: Ace.)